Automotive Mechanical Engineering [Mechanical engineering]

Automotive Mechanical Engineering

Should I become a mechanic, mechanical engineer, or automotive

Many times I am asked for advice on whether an individual should go to a technical school to become a mechanic, or go to a university to become an engineer. What we all have in common is that we love cars. Where we differ is how we like to work with them. The purpose of this article is to give my opinion of what you should do, giving you an idea of which field you should go into, and why.

Personally, I chose to be a mechanical engineer because I thought it would be my ticket into the automotive world. I was always excellent with mathematics (and poor in English). I knew early on that I would one day go to college for something relating to math and science. Eventually I turned to mechanical engineering. Automotive engineering was not offered at my school, and I felt mechanical engineering would be more well rounded anyways.

Becoming a Mechanic

So first, let's take the mechanic's side. Should I become a mechanic, knowing that I want to work with cars? Here are a few questions to ask yourself. Are you a hands on person? Do you work on your own car, and are you passionate about working on your own car? Do you want to guarantee that you will be touching (yes, physically touching) cars at your job? If you have answered yes to these, then becoming a mechanic could be the right choice. It does not mean, however, that you should not become an engineer. That said, if you know for a fact that you want to work in a shop, on cars, and repair/modify/tune cars, then becoming a mechanic is pretty much the option you need to take. As an engineer, it will be much more difficult to get hands on work in the automotive industry.

Advice for Aspiring Mechanics
  • First, get some formal education in car mechanics, such as at a technical college, to help secure a job.
  • Working at dealerships can pay better than many chain shops.
  • I think the ultimate goal for anyone who wants to become a mechanic would be to open a private shop on their own. This isn't something that can be done right off the bat, it will take many, many years (and you'll have to save money).
  • It's not easy to fully comprehend all of the systems in a vehicle, and since technology is always evolving you have to constantly adapt and learn. I only trust my car with local shops, people who have reputations that I know I can go to and not get screwed over - others have this mentality as well.
  • By building a customer base, and offering honest service, you should be able to make a great living.


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